SEST-540 Al Qaeda and the Global Jihad
Prof Pluchinsky's course description (Spring):
The objective of this course is to help students develop an analytical framework to examine and understand the current global jihadist terrorist threat in the world. The focus of the course will be on global jihadist operational manifestations to include remnant al-Qaeda’s core, global jihadist affiliate groups, and global jihadist leaderless terrorism or "jihad of the individual and small cell". The evolution of this global jihadist threat will be examined as well as issues of recruitment, propaganda, communications, target research and selection, tactical tendencies, doctrine, strategy, and counter-terrorism approaches. In addition, global jihadist propaganda videos will be viewed and analyzed from a product “marketing” perspective with the objective of constructing “counter-marketing” strategies. The central thread of this course is to explain more “how” the global jihadist terrorists act, rather than “why.”
Prof Scheuer's course description (Fall):
This course is specifically designed to enable the student to understand, think, plan and react like al-Qaeda's leaders. In studying Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the course will make an attempt to put them, and the threat they and their allies pose, into the context of contemporary international affairs, Islamic history, the traditional tenets of U.S. foregn policy and the nature of war. In short, the non-traditional national security threat posed by al-Qaedaism will be examined as if it were not that different than a traditional national security threat from a nation-state.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Summer '11: Scheuer, M (file download)
Spring '11: Pluchinsky, D. (file download)
Fall '10: Scheuer, M (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: